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Tree Campus: Hybrid Yew

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Hybrid Yew (English x Japanese)

Taxus x media (FAMILY)



(Garden Origin) Parents: England and Japan



"This evergreen poisonous tree is local in Britain but may form nearly pure woodlands on chalk and limestone in England." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Many superstitions and myths have built up about the tree in relation to spirituality and connections with death and it seems likely that the Celts extensively planted yews. Indeed, there are many theories as to why yews are so closely associated with churchyards in England and Scotland. On balance, it seems that early Christian missionaries took over pagan yew tree sites, under instruction from the Pope, to force conversion of the heathens. Given their long life, yews remained numerous in churchyards and indeed continue to be planted as symbols of Christianity due to the 'eternal life' of evergreen foliage and the symbolism of red berries and blood. Yew has also been used as a boundary marker and as a tombstone in unconsecrated ground." [1]



Most species of Taxus contain the alkaloid Taxol, an important anti-cancer drug. [1]




[1] Thomas, P. A., & Polwart, A. (2003). Taxus baccata L. Journal of Ecology, 91(3), 489-524.

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